To unlock some of the city’s most gridlocked roads and reduce transport emissions, Auckland’s draft Parking Strategy proposes changes to how parking is managed across our city.
Pending both Auckland Transport Board and Auckland Council Planning Committee approval on Thursday, Aucklanders will be asked to have their say on the proposals throughout April. The proposals focus on ensuring people can move efficiently around Auckland, no matter what their mode of travel is.
Auckland Council Planning Committee Chair and Councillor Chris Darby says the draft strategy would allow communities to flourish as parking spaces are transformed to give genuine transport choice and to make our streets more liveable.
“Parking affects everyone whether they own a car or not. Space allocated to parking influences how much space is available for footpaths, cycleways, street trees, buses and high occupancy vehicle lanes, as well as affecting how much is invested in public transport.
“These changes to how we manage parking across our city are desperately needed to help ready Auckland’s transport network for the future.
“Some of our busiest streets have become fulltime carparks, storing cars and holding up our communities instead of enabling travel across our city. That’s just not fair on Aucklanders.”
New parking approach to better reflect Government and Council expectations and goals
An updated parking strategy is needed in response to substantial legislative and policy changes from the Government and Auckland Council. AT must respond to these changes, such as the removal of onsite car parking requirements for new housing development, as well as helping to achieve the urgent climate change goals set by Auckland Council.
AT’s Executive General Manager of Planning and Investment, Jenny Chetwynd, says the draft Parking Strategy would have wide-reaching benefits if implemented.
“Auckland faces significant population growth over the next decade, which has the potential to add more congestion on our roads. Private vehicle use is also a major contributor to the city’s transport emissions, which need to be reduced. To address these challenges, we need to decrease vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) and enable active modes and public transport to serve our communities far more than ever before – and this means making space for them on our busy road corridors.
“Therefore, we’ve really got to challenge ourselves about how we use our road space, and in particular, our busy key corridors. By rethinking how we can use our roads for movement of people, rather than movement of cars – or even storage of cars – our city will become a place where everyone can connect and move efficiently.”
Despite any changes, Ms Chetwynd acknowledges vehicles still have a big role to play in how Aucklanders get around for the foreseeable future.
“Changes in parking management will have benefits for drivers too, especially those who rely on our roads for their work such as the freight and trade sectors.
“It’s important to note that any changes will be rolled out progressively over the next 10 years and individual communities will be consulted with.”
Changes to free Park and Rides to ensure parking is fair for commuters
The draft Parking Strategy includes changes for how Auckland’s Park and Ride (PnR) facilities will be managed. PnR sites have an important role to play in Auckland as they extend the reach of the public transport system and reduce congestion.
To ensure this continues to be the core role of PnRs, AT will need to actively manage them as a premium offering to customers. This will include enforcement of these spaces, and a pricing model, to make sure they are being used for their intended purpose.
While AT cannot be specific or pre-empt the decision made by the Traffic Control Committee (TCC) on fees, AT estimates that the fees would be modest, and in the range of approximately $2-$4 per day initially.
Ms Chetwynd says that charging for PnRs is one option to ensure they remain fit for purpose in the future.
“By introducing a fair user-pays model, and by linking public transport fares to PnRs in the future, we will be able to help ensure that only public transport users are parking at these facilities. Our experience of the paid Matiatia PnR site on Waiheke shows that with affordable, fair pricing, PnR usage will remain high.”
Consultation an important part of shaping our future parking approach
Following an initial round of public feedback on the direction of the draft Parking Strategy in December and January, AT has revised its proposed approach for consulting on future parking changes along Auckland’s ‘Strategic Network’.
“We’ve heard loud and clear that people want to have their say about any proposals to remove parking along the Strategic Network,” Ms Chetwynd says.
“We’ve taken this feedback onboard and we’re committed to carefully considering the views of Aucklanders about proposed changes to parking along the Strategic Transport Network, with a focus on issues of safety and hardship identified by local communities and road users.”
Councillor Darby says that now is the opportunity for Aucklanders to influence this important strategy.
“It’s up to Aucklanders to help us shape the city that they want to see in the next 10 years and beyond. By getting involved and providing feedback on the draft strategy, people can have their say – and know that they will be heard.”
The feedback period begins at the start of April and ends on May 1.